by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6, NLT)
You belong to God, you really do! This is for the benefit of others for the gifts you can bring, for yourself as you live in those gifts, and for your leaders as they do their work for God. You also belong to God for the sake of non-believers, and this is a point you can not afford to miss. William Temple, who was a priest born in 1881 wrote this profound statement, “The Church is the only organization that does not exist for itself, but for those who live outside of it.” Think about that for a moment. When you find yourself falling into the trap that churches should be about meeting your own needs, we see that we are called to a family that exists for the sole purpose of making non-members believers, by helping non-believers become believers! The way we follow God, and love and serve God and others helps people ‘outside’ see the benefits of coming ‘inside.’
Today’s passage from Colossians gives us excellent advice as to how we are to live our lives in a world that is antagonistic at best to the church. Paul instructs Jesus followers to live wisely and make the best of every opportunity to show grace and glory. People will wonder what makes you different, and the answer is the light and love of Jesus. Like a moth to the flame, people are attracted to light. Insects use light — the sun and moon alike — to help them navigate. The light that you shine for God can point people to God and help them navigate this crazy chaotic world in which we live (Matthew 5:14-16).
Do you have an answer for people when they ask you why you have hope when everything else points to hopelessness? Get one. Use your story. Share how knowing you belong to God transforms your understanding of what it means to live in relationship with him and others. Share how this new eternal perspective transforms your own life, and invite them to join you in the family of God known as the Church. In so doing, your life of belonging will help someone see that they belong, too; that their life matters to God and others; and they can find a new life in Christ when they begin with him.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for loving me, and giving me the opportunity to begin (or begin again) in you. Thank you for helping me believe that my life matters to you and to the people you want me to share your good news with. I know I belong to you, and I want others to belong to you and your family, too. Help me to live wisely and speak well so I might reflect your light and helps others know how great and glorious you are. I pray this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.